Newly elected mayor Valérie Plante campaigned on a promise to fix the city’s budget and make Montreal more affordable.
Unfortunately, that plan has hit a hurdle, and Montrealers are going to have to pay for it.
As revealed this week, Montreal is suffering from a $358 million deficit. That’s quite a bit more in the red than what was previously thought, as Denis Coderre said earlier this year that Montreal had a $31 million budget deficit.
So Valérie Plante and the Projet Montreal municipal government are in a tight spot. With so much more money needed to fix the city’s budget than previously thought, the only solution (at least, the only one proposed by Plante) is to raise taxes.
Yes, it’s barely been a week since Plante was elected and she already has to deal with telling Montrealers that they’re going to pay more in taxes.
Coderre is to blame, of course, at least according to Plante, who was shocked by the huge deficit.
But no matter who is to blame (opposition leaders are saying Plante is “playing with the facts” by blaming Coderre) the outcome is the same: Montrealers are going to pay. Literally.
Plante did promise that taxes won’t be raised above the rate of inflation. No specific numbers were given. And, other than raising taxes, the newly elected mayor didn’t offer any insight into how her administration is going to balance the books.
$358 million isn’t exactly loose change, and since Montreal isn’t allowed to run a deficit, the new mayor definitely has her work cut out for her.